Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Startled and Excited

I walked out of my office and into the hallway yesterday and was startled by an image on the bulletin board that caught my attention. It took a moment to register that I was looking at a picture of myself! Yeah, I knew I was giving the talk; I just didn't know posters were ready or up yet, and there I was - staring myself in the face! So I was startled, but I'm excited about the talk - always fun to show people some cool mathematics! For a description of the talk see what I've written below the poster image.

"Young children know the truth. They know that numbers and shapes are fun. They play counting-out games like "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,"and they put numerical values to the letters of their names to play at predicting their futures. They doodle with geometric shapes, and they challenge each other to see who can name the biggest number. But that enjoyment of math fades for most people and is often replaced by boredom or even fear. In this talk we will explore together the playful side of mathematics through tracings, tilings and tangles. But be careful! This is more serious than you might think! It is often curiosity and play that give rise to powerful real-world applications."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

to be sung by Niels Bohr

by John Atherton
(to be sung by Niels Bohr)

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Wow - can't believe I hadn't posted anything this year!

I have some great poems to put up, but I'm a bit hesitant because my hubby gets a little disconcerted when I post dark poetry.

Ah well . . .

Anthony has been back at college in Michigan for a week and a half for winter term. The rest of us have just finished up the first week of our new semester. I'm pleased to report I had what was probably the best first week of a semester ever! It's busy and overwhelming, of course, as beginnings of semesters always are, but all of my classes seem to have fun personalities, and that is the big thing! That makes all the difference.

I can't believe this is Jacob's last semester of high school - last semester here under our roof. I don't know what Caleb is going to do with just Mom and Dad to hang out with!

Let's see - other random stuff - David did his annual polar bear jump into the swimming pool on January 1, silly guy! - a couple of my colleagues came over yesterday and taught us a new board game, fun stuff! - I'm (re)reading That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis, hoping to finish before book club Thursday! - we get tomorrow off in observance of Martin Luther King Junior's birthday, yea! - along with teaching and heading up the tutoring center I'm spending a lot of time meticulously planning a talk I'll be giving in March - also, I've decided there's no point in putting off the items on my bucket list, so I've signed up to take organ lessons beginning in May. I'm pretty excited about that!

I'm also going to try to post here more often again, but it might be dark poetry! :-)